Boston Assault & Battery Attorney
What Constitutes Assault and Battery in MA?
Assault and battery is considered a serious crime, both by the state of
Massachusetts and elsewhere in the United States. To prove assault and
battery beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant must have committed an
unwanted touching, the defendant intended to engage in the touching, the
touching was harmful or offensive, and it was committed without justification
or excuse. The penalty in Massachusetts for a conviction of assault and
battery is a jail term of up to 2 ½ years in a House of Correction
and/or imposition of monetary.
Sentences are increased and include state prison for use of dangerous weapon
in connection with an assault and battery (ABDW), and can also be enhanced
by either the circumstances of the offense or specific characteristic
of the victim such as age (assault and battery person over 65) or infirmity
(assault and battery on mentally handicapped).
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What is Aggravated Battery?
Aggravated battery (a felony) is defined by the nature, seriousness and/or
permanent nature of injury caused, and indecent assault and battery, a
felony that also allows for imposition of a state prison sentence, and
is subject to sex offender registration, is a non-consensual sexual battery
(touching) and divided by age (U 14; over 14). Domestic assault and battery
requires proof of a live-in/domestic relationship and is usually accompanied
by imposition of harsh abuse prevention/restraining orders, the violation
of which can also result in jail time.
What are the Penalties for Assault and Battery?
In the state of Massachusetts, the penalties for assault and battery are
up to 2 years in jail and a $1,000 fine. However, the following circumstances
can lead to more severe penalties:
- Assault and Battery on a Family or Household Member
- Assault and Battery on a Public Employee
- Assault and Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury
- Assault and Battery on a Pregnant Woman
- Assault and Battery on a Child Under 14
- Assault and Battery on an Elderly or Disabled Person
Assault and battery may also be alleged through reckless conduct in which
the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt two elements: the
defendant’s actions caused physical or bodily injury to the victim
and the actions amount to wanton and reckless conduct. Assault is essentially
an uncompleted assault and battery and/or threat of a battery. It can
also be charged as a felony if a dangerous or deadly weapon is involved
(A/DW) and/or its penalty can be enhanced based on the circumstances of
the crime or nature of the victim.
Assault and battery on a Public Employee (most frequently charged for batteries
on police or fire personal) required proof beyond a reasonable doubt it
was committed while the same was performing his or her official duties
and carries a mandatory minimum 90 days jail sentence, upon conviction
for the same in Massachusetts.
If you are accused of any of these crimes, it is essential you know your
rights. It is also best to hire a lawyer who has years of experience in
defending clients who are facing charges alleging any/all nature of charges
alleging assaultive behavior and any variation, whether felony or misdemeanor,
of assault and battery.
Intentional Assault and Battery
In order to prove a defendant guilty of assault and battery, The Commonwealth
must convince a jury, beyond a reasonable doubt of the following elements:
- First, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant
engaged in a touching, however slight. This means that in this particular
case, a jury must be satisfied that the Commonwealth proved applicable facts.
- The second element the Commonwealth must prove is that the defendant intended
to commit the touching. A jury may or may not infer the defendant’s
intent by considering all of the facts and circumstances, as well as evidence
of defendant’s conduct, offered during the trial.
- The third element the Commonwealth must prove is that the touching was
harmful or offensive. A harmful touching is a touching which is physically
or potentially physically harmful. An offensive touching is an affront
to a person’s integrity.
Fourth, the Commonwealth must prove that the battery was committed without
justification or excuse. An example of justification is a physical examination
by a doctor. An example of excuse is a situation where a person sees another
in danger, reaches out, and while removing the other person from an oncoming
vehicle, touches that person’s breast. In this case, the Commonwealth
must prove the absence of justification or excuse beyond a reasonable doubt.
- That a defendant committed a touching
- That a defendant intended to engage in the touching
- That the touching was harmful or offensive
- Committed without justification or excuse.
Reckless Assault and Battery
There is a second way in which a person may be guilty of an assault and
battery. Instead of intentional conduct, it involves reckless conduct
that results in bodily injury. In order to prove a defendant guilty of
having committed an assault and battery by reckless conduct, the Commonwealth
must prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt:
Commonwealth v. Ma, indecent assault and battery case
Commonwealth v. Hallum, indecent assault and battery case
Commonwealth v. Turner, indecent assault and battery under 14 case
Com v. B., aggravated domestic battery
Com v. P.S, domestic battery
Com v. J. L., assault and battery on a public employee, A/DW
Com v D.S., AB/DW
Com v. A.S. , domestic battery
- Com v. D.S., domestic battery
Com v. M., domestic assault
- Com v. J.A., assault and battery
- Com v. T.M., assault and battery
- Actions that caused physical or bodily injury to the victim
- The first element the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt
is that the defendant engaged in actions that caused the victim physical
or bodily injury. The Commonwealth must prove that the injury interfered
with the alleged victim’s health or comfort. The injury need not
be permanent, but must be more than transient and trifling. For example,
an act that only shakes up a person or causes only momentary discomfort
would be transient and trifling.
- Actions amounted to wanton and reckless conduct.
- The second element the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt
is that a defendant’s actions were wanton and reckless. It is not
enough for the Commonwealth to prove that a defendant acted negligently
— that is, acted in a way that a reasonably careful person would
not. It must be shown that a defendant’s actions went beyond mere
negligence and amounted to recklessness. A defendant acted recklessly
if they knew, or should have known, that the conduct involved would likely
cause substantial harm to someone, but they ran that the risk rather than
alter such conduct.
Put 37+ Years' Experience on Your Case
Brad Bailey, an assault and battery lawyer, has practiced on both sides of criminal
law. He has been a felony prosecutor in Manhattan (where he prosecuted
all types of felony assaults), a senior trial prosecutor in Middlesex
County, where he prosecuted murders, sex crimes and serious drug cases,
a County Sheriff, where he not only reviewed, refereed, and referred out
for prosecution, detainee and inmate assaults, but also created alternative
dispute/mediation programs and a federal prosecutor in Boston.
violent crimes lawyer who has prosecuted and now defended virtually every conceivable
assault/assault and battery/domestic violence charge imaginable, he understands
defense strategies needed for successfully handling these cases and infuses creativity,
out-of-the box thinking, and zealous advocacy not just in the challenging
and unique cases he routinely handles but for every client and in every
case involving allegations of assaultive conduct.
The following notable cases are just a
few of the literally hundreds of related cases he has recently defended (and
does not include the many clerk magistrate hearings in where he appeared
and successfully avoided assault-related charges issuing against his clients):
To ensure your best defense, contact Brad Bailey today for a consultation.
Learn your defense options today when you
contact Brad Bailey Law online or at (617) 500-0252.